According to the BBC, major file-sharing site Megaupload has been shut down – and its founders are facing criminal charges by the United States’ federal government.
Predictably, the site’s founders have been charged with violating piracy laws. Prosecutors claim Megaupload has cost copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue, despite Megaupload’s claims of diligently responding to complaints of pirated material. Co-founders Kim Dotcom (formerly Kim Schmitz) and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland New Zealand along with two other employees at the request of the United States. Three employees remain at large.
A wide-ranging investigation has seized 18 domain names related to the Hong Kong-based firm, and more than 2o search warrants have been issued in nine countries. The charges are especially controversial given the recent “blackout” of many leading internet sites in protest of the Stop Internet Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act being debated in the United States’ Congress.
Megaupload issued a statement before it was shut down claiming that the charges against it were “grotesquely overblown.”
For more information about this issue, see the original BBC article.